The alarm went off for the third time so I decided to roll over and deliver a mortal wound to that beeping sound. I tapped all the right places on my Iphone with the precision you would expect from a sleepy, ninja assassin. Game over. I win.
My morning routine is typically the same — give Bentley a bottle then take a shower. So I whipped up four scoops of gross with 8 ounces of water to make a nice warm bottle of nasty. I gave it to my third-born bundle of loudness. (She is cute, but she is not soft.)
Then I stumbled back downstairs. When I walked in the bathroom to start the cleansing, the thermostat on my space heater said 68 degrees. I felt comfortable, cozy and generally happy to be starting my day. My shower gloriously passed all my expectations. Then it was over.
As I stepped out of the shower, I was chilled. I was not comfortable. I was not cozy. And I was certainly not happy. What global warming catastrophe had caused this horrendous change in the intimate climate of my bathroom? I would guess the butler changed the temperature except that I am not Donald Trump and I do not employ a butler. Yet. Maybe I left a window open in my bathroom? But I have no window in my bathroom so that option seemed immediately unlikely. I shot an icy stare at the thermostat. What?! It said 69 degrees! I was as incredulous as a chilly naked guy can be. That can’t be right. That Ivory body wash must not have effectively gotten the rheum out of my eyes. Surely it was not warmer than before? Or was it?
This experience is not unique to me. We have all been chilly, naked guys one time or another. We have all searched the internet for the answer why this happens. Maybe some of you geeks already knew why.
Nevertheless, the phenomenon reminded me of something I read recently. J.I. Packer, in his classic tome, Knowing God, wrote a few pages about six common pitfalls to knowing God’s guidance for life. The third and fourth pitfalls are illustratively related to my chilly morning learning time. The third pitfall is an unwillingness to take advice. Proverbs 12:15 says “the way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Packer comments that “it is a sign of conceit and immaturity to dispense with taking advice in major decision.”
The fourth pitfall is an unwillingness to suspect oneself. Packer observes that “we dislike being realistic with ourselves and we do not know ourselves at all well.” He goes on to say that we see rationalization in other people but rarely recognize it in our own life. Psalm 139:23-24 is right on point:
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
If even King David, a man after God’s own heart, couldn’t know himself, then what hope do I have?
How often do I think I know the right answer, the right way or the right words, but I do not first prayerfully seek God? How often do I set a course of action or pass judgment on others based exclusively on my feelings? Am I so conceited to think I need no advice? Do I really think I have a better grasp on my own heart and mind than the writer of the Psalms? Yet, that is exactly how I behave. I think I have all the wisdom. I think I know most answers for me and all of them for you.
That is some scary ignorance for a person who is easily fooled by his own skin in the confines of his own bathroom.
I need to remember the words of Packer and David and be slow to judge others and very quick to be suspicious of my own feelings.